SOFIA, March 16 (Reuters) - Ten companies have expressed an interest to bid in a 60 million euros ($74 million) tender to supply pipes for a 185-km (115 miles) gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria (IGB), the Bulgarian energy ministry said on Friday.
ICGB, a joint venture for the 240 million euros pipeline, will select up to five companies to file offers for the tender in April and hopes to pick a winner by the end of June, ICGB executive director Teodora Georgieva said.
Companies from Turkey, India, Russia, Greece, Germany and Bulgaria, including Welspun Corp. and Salzgitter , have filed requests to participate.
“The project is key for the diversification of energy supplies and will allow access to the South Gas Corridor through which our country and southeastern Europe will get Caspian natural gas,” Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said.
ICGB plans to open a tender for construction of the pipeline next month and have the gas link ready in 2020, when Bulgaria should start receiving 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Shah Deniz 2 gas field in Azerbaijan.
At present, Bulgaria meets over 95 percent of its gas needs with shipments from Russia’s Gazprom.
Bulgarian state energy holding company BEH holds a 50 percent stake in ICGB, while Greek state energy firm DEPA and Italy’s Edison each hold 25 percent.
$1 = 0.8140 euros Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova Editing by Mark Potter